Advent is a time to wait, listen and ponder the awesome wonder of God who sent his only son as a baby to save us. Pause and spend some time this season reflecting on God’s gift of love.
Celebrating Advent as a Family
The circular shape of the wreath, without beginning or end, symbolizes God’s complete and unending love for us—a love that sent his Son into the world. It also represents eternal life which becomes ours through faith in Jesus Christ. The second Sunday of Advent, December 6th, symbolizes Faith and we light the second purple “Bethlehem Candle” reminding us of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. Read more about the Advent Wreath Tradition and Meaning (information taken from the Catholic Company).
We will continue praying during the second week of Advent together as a school community. Our second Advent liturgy will take place virtually on Monday, December 7 as a school community.
Our Angel Tree was a huge success thanks to everyone’s generosity. Together we were able to help those in need this Advent season. We are grateful for all your support and trust throughout the year.
Keeping Our School Community Healthy & Safe
As you may know, Halton Region is in the Red Level (Control) of the Provincial COVID-19 Response Framework. It is strongly recommended that residents in the red control zone limit trips outside of their home:
- Stay home, except for essential purposes such as going to work or school, buying essentials such as groceries, and attending medical appointments.
- Maintain a physical distance of two metres (six feet) from those outside their household. Those that live alone may join one designated household.
- Avoid all social gatherings such as play dates, birthday parties, and dinner parties with friends or family.
Checking for Signs & Symptoms of COVID-19
Please continue to check for symptoms of COVID-19 in your children, and remember to conduct a self-assessment for each child every day before sending your children to school: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/.
NEW! Halton Region Public Health is now asking students to conduct a daily self-assessment EVERY day, even on weekends. Please follow the instructions on the school screening tool.
COVID-19 Test Results
- If your child has been tested for COVID-19,they must stay home and self-isolate until the test results are received. Please do NOT send your children to school while you are awaiting their test results.
- If any member of your immediate family tests positive for COVID-19, all members of the family must stay home and self-isolate, even if they have no symptoms.
Thank you for reinforcing at home the importance of wearing masks with your children. They are doing an excellent job following this protocol and we appreciate your support. We would also kindly request that parents wear masks if they are dropping off or picking up their students when getting out of their cars or coming to the front doors of the school. During these times, there are more people gathering outside of their cohorts so we appreciate your co-operation in keeping everyone as safe as possible!
Arriving on Time
It is very important that students arrive on time for school in the morning (the final bell rings at 8:55 AM) so we can avoid congestion at the office giving out late slips. We appreciate your support in keeping everyone safe!
Change of Learning Environment Survey
If you wish to change your child’s learning environment by switching from remote learning to in-class instruction, or vice versa, you are asked to complete an online request form.
Important notes before you complete the online form:
- You are asked to submit a separate form for each child.
- You will need your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN) to submit this request. The OEN can be found on a recent report card.
- This online request form applies to elementary students ONLY. Requests for changes in the learning environment at the secondary school level should be sent to directly to your child’s secondary school Principal.
- This form does not apply to homeschooling. If your child is currently being homeschooled and you would like to request a change to either in-class instruction or remote learning, please contact your Family of Schools Superintendent.
NOTE: Please do not complete this form unless you want to change your child’s current learning environment – i.e. your child is currently attending in-class instruction and you want to switch to remote (online) learning in a virtual classroom.
CLICK HERE to access the online form to request a change to your child’s learning environment.
The online form will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, December 7, 2020.
Spirit Days- Dec. 17 & 18
We invite students and staff to participate in our upcoming Spirit days:
December 17 – Pajama Day-Non Uniform Day (Students and Staff are invited to wear their PJ’s to school)
December 18 – Red, Green & White Day- Non Uniform Day (Students and Staff are invited to wear the festive colours of Red, Green or White)
Early Dismissal- Dec. 18
Please note our school gradual dismissal times on Friday, December 18th will be the following:
- 1:40 p.m. Kindergarten Students & Siblings
- 1:45 p.m. Kiss & Ride Students
- 1:55 p.m. Walkers and Bus Students
Buses have been notified and will pick the students up at the above scheduled time. We return to school on Monday, January 4th, 2021.
Fundraising Update & Holiday Option
The School Council decided to have a Holiday option to help reach our goal for fundraising. Many thanks to all our families for their contributions to date. Through your generosity, we have been able to raise $9,431 so far. This will greatly benefit our students in continuing to support their learning and achievement. Our primary focus this year is to enhance technology by purchasing Ipads, Laptops and Smartboards. In previous years, our traditional Halloween Dance-a-thon has raised approximately $22, 000. Our goal is to try our best to raise the equivalent amount this year. As the focus of St. Mary Catholic School is on developing the whole child, your participation enables us to focus on two main objectives.
- Support initiatives that enhance our children’s education and increase school pride
- Teach our children the value of investing in their school community and in their future
In the past years, your generous donations have allowed the school to fund many school initiatives across all grade levels. Your support has enabled our school to purchase technology, physical education equipment, materials for clubs, and other school initiatives. This year’s fundraiser will focus on purchasing technology for the school (for example: IPads, Laptops, Smartboards), and Virtual Assemblies for our students that will focus on well-being and new educational experiences or needs that may arise during this uncertain year.
Option 1: Any donation amount is welcome! Even the smallest donation makes a difference, and all donation amounts are confidential. In addition, 100% of your donation goes directly to programs and tools for your child.
Donating is easy! Simply login to your School Cash Online Account:
- At the top right-hand corner, click on “Make a Donation”
- Under “Fund Destination” please ensure you select St. Mary
- A tax receipt will be emailed directly to you.
Option 2: Holiday Choice Fundscript! Families help raise funds for the school by simply spending money on things that they would normally buy using FundScript. This fundraising program allows you to raise funds by purchasing gift cards for your everyday expenses & gifts for the holidays (i.e. grocery stores, retailers, gas stations, restaurants… ). When you purchase a $100 gift card, you receive a $100 gift card, and in addition, a percentage is donated to our fundraising campaign. Please click on the link below to sign up and support our school.
https://www.fundscrip.com/support-a-group/RRAUGU This link can also be shared with family and friends.
Donations made before December 18, 2020 will allow us to plan activities and purchase materials for the school year; however, all donations will gladly be received throughout the year and the link will remain open. Thank you in advance for your contribution!
St. Mary Tips
A Human is a special species in part because we can learn by imitation.
So, be the person you want your child to be — respect your child, show them positive behavior and attitude, have empathy towards your child’s emotion — and your child will follow suit.
Thank you for your ongoing support. Working together, we can help keep our school community safe.
K. Dobbie & D. Comito